George citizens must halve their water usage

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Tap file picture.

Tap file picture.

The new 2C restrictions mean George residents are not allowed to water their gardens with a hose or sprinklers at all.

George households would have to cut municipal water usage by about half to ensure they do not exceed the monthly limit of 15 kilolitres, which will trigger higher costs per kilolitre on an upwards scale, reports the George Herald.

Emergency tariffs and tougher water restrictions came into effect last week (2 August) as the town’s main water supply, the Garden Route Dam, dropped to below 45%.

The latest reading (taken on Tuesday 8 August) was 43,94%.

The new Section 2C restrictions limit household consumption to 15 kilolitres per month or 480 litres per day (120 litres per person in an average household of four).

George municipal manager Trevor Botha said the current average household consumption per month was 20 to 30 kilolitres per month, which meant ratepayers would incur costs of almost double per kilolitre (from R13,74 per kilolitre for 6 to 15 kilolitres to R27,69 per kilolitre in the 20 to 30 kilolitre category) once they reached this threshold, if their usage remained the same.

“While national figures vary on how households use their municipal water, there is no doubt that watering gardens (up to 46%), flushing toilets (up to 37%), bathing and showering (up to 32%) and laundry (up to 17%) are the places where people can save the most,” said Botha.

Municipal bill and water meter
Start with your municipal bill and water meter. Your household’s total kilolitres consumption is indicated at the bottom of your account. Keep track of your consumption by keeping an eye on your water meter and checking all your taps and pipes for water leaks.

If the leaks are on your side of the water meter, please contact a plumber as soon as possible to fix it. Please report leaks on the street/supply side of the water meter on 044 801 9262 or after hours on 044 801 6300.

Save one: gardens
The new 2C restrictions mean you are not allowed to water your garden with a hose or sprinklers at all. If you have until now regularly watered your garden with a hose, the good news is you may reduce your bill significantly by not watering your garden. Consider planting drought resistant plants.

Save two: toilets
The older your house, the more likely it is that you will have a large cistern of nine litres or more, which means flushing your toilet can use up to 15 litres per flush, which can add up quite quickly in a household of four.

Newer toilet cisterns hold about six litres. Not all toilets work well with water reduction devices (such as a brick or bottle inside the cistern), so check before you do so. Reduce toilet paper use and consider your flushing options.

Save three: baths and showers
Take a shower or bath shallow. Depending on the size of the bath, an 18-centimetre-deep bath will take up 150 to 200 litres (nearly half your daily household allocation). While newer shower heads may reduce usage, the flow rate of most shower heads are still 15 to 25 litres per minute, amounting to 75 to 125 litres for a five-minute shower. Consider replacing your shower head with a flow reducing one.

Save four: laundry
Depending on the size and age of the laundry washing machine, it uses 90 to 150 litres per cycle. Consider handwashing for certain items.

Save five: dishes
Depending on the size, age and type of machine, a dishwasher uses 40 to 75 litres per cycle. Consider handwashing, which uses 10 to 30 litres, depending on your efficiency.

Save six: general use
Don’t let water run: close taps and put the plug in for everything you can. Catch up the cold water from the hot water pipes in a container while you wait for it to turn hot – fill the kettle or cooking pot with it.